Benjamin André life and biography

Benjamin André  picture, image, poster

Benjamin André biography

Date of birth : 1975-05-27
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-05-17
Credited as : Rap singer songwriter and actor, OutKast member, Battle in Seattle movie

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André Lauren Benjamin, better known by his stage name André 3000 (and sometimes simply Dre), is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor, best known for his work in the group OutKast.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Andre 3000 met Big Boi while the two were sophomores at Tri-Cities High School in East Point. After earning the respect of the other after a few lyric battles, the two formed Outkast and were quickly signed by Antonio L.A. Reid to his LaFace label in 1992. Two years later, the pair released Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik on an unsuspecting listen audience and immediately set the music scene on fire. With a blend of hip-hop, southern guitar riffs and laid-back 70’s-style soul, Outkast’s first album peaked at number 20 on the charts and left fans salivating for more. Their second effort, ATLiens, issued in 1996, was a sudden shift from the bubbling funk of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik to futuristic beats and trance-like rhythms. Outkast attracted a wider audience with the ambitious album, as ATLiens hit number 2 on the Billboard 200.

For their third cut, Aquemini, the duo infused jazz, reggae and world beats into their music, thus broadening an already wide palette of sounds. As their rhymes matured, becoming more spiritual and introspective, the music came back down to earth from the interstellar space explored in ATLiens. The first single, Rosa Parks, was a hit, but the Civil Rights heroine sued the group for the unauthorized use of her name The suit was later dismissed. Meanwhile, the album rocketed up the charts and cemented itself at number 2 on the Billboard 200. The best, however, was yet to come: in 2000, Outkast released what has been considered a rap masterpiece, Stankonia. Combining classic P-Funk beats with rock, Outkast produced an album that defied standard hip-hop or anything else on the pop charts. The duo won two Grammy awards in 2001—one for Best Rap Album, the other for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for the single, Ms. Jackson.

It took another three years for Outkast to release their fifth effort, Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, a dual release that featured Andre 3000 and Big Boi on separate albums. Rumors swirled about whether or not the two were breaking up: they began conducting separate interviews and Andre 3000 refused to tour to support the album. But the rumors—according to the duo—were untrue. Meanwhile, Andre 3000 began branching out on his own. While learning how to play saxophone and clarinet, Andre 3000 began to appear in feature films and television series, billed as Andre Benjamin. His first roles were memorable: he played a screenwriter in the otherwise forgettable “Hollywood Homicide” (2003) and appeared on a 2004 episode of the f/x crime drama "The Shield" as a comic book store owner who decides to take keeping the piece in his violence-torn neighborhood into his own hands. Then as the wanna-be gansta rapper Da Boo in “Be Cool” (2005), he stood out as welcome comic relief in this second go-round with John Travolta’s popular character, Chili Palmer, who tries this time to make his mark in the music industry. He then ably played the more settled and straight-laced brother among four troubled foster sons seeking to avenge the mysterious murder of their adoptive mother in director John Singleton's hard-edged, if sometime implausible, revenge thriller "Four Brothers" (2005). Andre 3000 was also considered to play Jimi Hendrix in the Hughes Brothers’ biopic, but that project has languished a long time in development hell.

Film career

Benjamin has made appearances in Families, The Shield (he plays Robert Huggins, a character that originated in an episode titled “On Tilt” from Season 3 in 2004), Be Cool, Revolver, Semi Pro, and Four Brothers. He was also cast as Percival in Idlewild, released on August 26, 2006. He is currently shooting a movie with Big Boi for HBO. He is also currently working on an as-of-yet untitled project, filming on location in Louisiana and is being produced by Chesley Seals and Kat Hantas. He voiced a crow in Charlotte's Web, a movie adaptation of the 1952 children's book. As of November 2006, he voiced "Sunny Bridges," a prize-winning musician who gives up touring to teach at his alma mater, in Class of 3000, an animated series he produced on Cartoon Network. He has also worked with Esthero on a promotional version of "Jungle Book" which was on a Wikked lil' grrrls sampler, but never made it to the actual album due to issues with Esthero's label, Warner Bros. The following year, he appeared in the basketball comedy Semi-Pro, with Woody Harrelson and Will Ferrell. He also starred in the 2008 film Battle in Seattle, a film about the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization protests.

Benjamin was a member of Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender's production company A Band Apart until its close in 2006; he then formed his own company, Moxie Turtle.

Fashion

He launched the "Benjamin Bixby" clothing line in spring of 2008, inspired by college football circa 1935. Andre has always has been know for his outrageous style of dress. He conforms to set standard of a particular look. He can be seen rocking a blond bob-cut wigs to wearing hot pink fur pants. His sense of style is as unique as his music arranging in a array of colors,textures, and sizes. However as Andre has gotten older his style of dress seems more subtle and casual now. He now dresses in button down shirts, sweaters, and straight leg jeans.

Personal life

In 2004, alongside Alicia Silverstone, Benjamin was voted by PETA to be the 'World's Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity. He has a son with ex-partner Erykah Badu named Seven Sirius Benjamin. Who Benjamin has stated has seven periods of school and seven beatings a day. Long time mentor to Los Angeles visual artist and fashion designer JaQ Dutch, who Andre's unique style is emulated by. He is also childhood friends with Fonzworth Bentley.

He was arrested in Henry County, Georgia in March 2009 after being caught driving his car 109 mph in a 65 mph speed zone (approximately 175kph in a 105kph zone).

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